15 AUGUST 2016
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Experts were asking last week whether airline technology had grown too complex after Delta Air Lines suffered a major computer breakdown that grounded aircraft and caused long delays for passengers already in the air or awaiting flights.
At least 1,300 flights had to be cancelled, with costs estimated in the millions of dollars and TechRepublic magazine reporting days after the incident “there is little known about the source other than a 'power outage' at Delta's Atlanta data centre”.
The magazine said Delta had implied the problem was the fault of the local utility company but later information “seems to indicate [it] was a fault in Delta's power distribution infrastructure”.
In the immediate aftermath of the shutdown, which follows a string of high-profile IT problems at major airlines including American and Southwest, Delta said it had cancelled 451 flights. Services resumed gradually about six hours later.
Delta said passengers booked for travel between 8-12 August would be entitled to a refund if their flights were cancelled or significantly delayed.
One airline analyst told Reuters the problem was "not as severe as a mild snowstorm”, but added the reason for the cancellations was “a cause for concern and needs to be explained".
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